TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) is not ruling out the possibility that it may lift Level 3 restrictions in some areas as the country sees three straight days of fewer than 200 confirmed COVID cases.
On Tuesday (June 15), Health Minister and CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) announced that Taiwan had recorded 132 local COVID-19 cases, the lowest number reported since Level 3 restrictions were first announced in mid-May. Chen said that given the downward trend in cases, the CECC could consider downgrading epidemic restrictions in some regions.
On May 15, when Taiwan announced the then-record of 180 local COVID-19 cases, a Level 3 alert was issued for Taipei and New Taipei City. By May 19, the alert was expanded to the entire country. Although it was originally set to end on May 28, it was extended on May 25 to June 14, and again on June 7 to June 28.
Tony Chen (陳秀熙), vice dean of National Taiwan University's College of Public Health (NTUCPH), was cited by CNA as saying that the next two weeks are key. Chen said that if the outbreak situation improves and vaccinations run smoothly after June 28, the Level 3 restrictions could be lowered in different districts based on risk level.
When asked by a reporter during Tuesday's press conference whether the CECC is considering lowering the restrictions in different phases, Chen said that before June 28, the epidemic situation could change at any time. He said that the epidemic monitoring team is constantly assessing the situation.
Regarding the likelihood of downgrading the alert in stages or by region, Chen said: "I do not rule out the possibility." He explained that all changes to epidemic prevention policies must be based on discussions with experts.